Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
While waiting at the chiropractor’s office the other day, I picked up the latest edition of Family Circle magazine:
The decadent photo of the baconed-up mac ‘n cheese was what caught my eye, but the article I turned to first was “Why Kids Today Are So Mean.” I immediately thought of my best friend Michele and her beautiful daughter Emma. Emma is everything a five-going-on-six-year-old girl should be: silly, sweet, innocent, full of energy, etc. She does not have a mean, cruel, or bullying bone in her precious little body. I know Michele’s parenting skills: she will do her very best to keep Emma this way for as long as humanly possible.
Oh sure, when Michele and I attended grade school together, we had our moments of teasing other kids in our class. We will chuckle with semi-malicious laughter as we recall moments we weren’t at our Catholic school best. But we were always part of the “Milk and Cookies” club even into our college years. Yes we teased, but we were never downright mean, nasty, or physically threatening to our classmates.
I know what it’s like being on the receiving end of bullying. The only reason I was able to meet Michele in sixth grade is because I had to change schools. There really was no hope at one elementary school (yes, it was a Catholic school too) so making a change was really in my best interests. It is amazing what a better social and academic environment can do for a young person. I thrived, made a friendship that has lasted the rest of my lifetime, and have many fabulous memories thanks to that move.
I found the article “Why Kids Today Are So Mean” to be eye-opening and startling. We have gone from my days of telling each other “You’re short/fat/too tall/wear goofy glasses/you can’t play on my team because you’re no good at sports” to these days of threatening physical harm by holding a knife to another kid’s throat and encouraging classmates to “just go ahead and commit suicide and get it over with.” And children actually HAVE killed themselves over bullying situations, feeling there was just no other way out.
The article attempts to answer a serious question, including statistics from the Kaiser Family Foundation, theories from a neuroscientist at the
So if this is what we are dealing with now, what is going to happen in another five to ten years or so when our beautiful daughter is on the battlefield known as school? Kevin and I already know that we are going to need an arsenal of skills that our parents never even came close to having. Not only are we going to have to supplement her education thanks to liberals watering down everything from the Holocaust to phonics, we are going to have to make sure she is neither the bully or the bullied. We will not stick our heads in the sand and we won’t let her eyes glaze over from too much electronic stimulation. We WILL make sure she has social graces and that she can stand her own ground. It might sound simple now, but we know there will be a battle ahead. I sincerely hope it is a small battle, and that by some miracle things show improvement before she rides a school bus for the first time.